Hometown Geology

Stacey Cochiara Modified by Andrea Deanne Rodgers (SUNY Stony Brook)from original documents by Steve Reynolds (ASU)
Stony Brook University
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This is an extra credit assignment for students to learn details about the geology of their hometown.

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This is used in an introductory physical geology lab course. There are about 3/4 non-majors and 1/4 majors.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students must understand how to read geologic maps and construct a geologic history from them. This involves knowledge of structural geology and petrology.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is an extra credit assignment that students can choose to do. It is due at the end of the course, after the associated topics have been covered in depth.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

The goal for the students is to apply what they learn about geologic maps to specific areas of interest. They are expected to explain the geologic history of the area and what is exposed at the surface and at depth.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Students must demonstrate critical evaluation of the maps to determine what features are seen. They must also possess understanding about several geologic environments, as their hometown map may have features other than what was discussed in class.

Other skills goals for this activity

As a written report is required for this activity, students must condense what they learn into a coherent report. Also, students must find their maps in the library.

Description of the activity/assignment

Students are introduced to concepts in the course that give them the skills to understand geologic maps. These include structural geology, weathering processes, the geologic time scale, types of rocks and minerals, glacial geology, etc. They also look at several quadrangle maps as lab activities, including the Williamsville Quadrangle from Virginia and the Bright Angel Quadrangle from the Grand Canyon. This independent exercise allows students to further investigate their hometown or other areas of interest, and report on the geologic history. This further prepares them for more advanced courses and also gives them an appreciation of their surroundings, a key part of a geologist's training.

Determining whether students have met the goals

This is done based on grading of the submitted assignments.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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